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Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,804 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,804
Reviews: 1,121
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 150
Gots: 739 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-31-2005

Old ale brewed with molasses and oak-aged.

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,804 | Reviews: 1,121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of portia99
3.37/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (2007 vintage) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a muddy, particulate laden and well carbonated dirty amberish brown color. A skim coat of bubbles laces the surface with a small collar of fine tan bubbles rings the glass.

S - Smells very boozy, full of bourbon with richly caramelled malt. This smells very alcoholic...smells like a shot of bourbon in my glass more than anything. A bit of wood creeps into the aroma, but other than that, not much complexity.

T - Yep...pretty boozy here too. I get bourbon that is watered down a bit by some malty sweet beer. If I didn't see it poured from the bottle, I'd be skeptical of what I am drinking. This bottle is 3 yrs old and it still seems like it needs some more time to mellow.

M - Bourbony heat...definitely feeling a burn in my throat as this one goes down. Carbonation looks pretty lively in the glass, but I really don't get much of anything in the feel...seems almost still. Body is pretty full, but still less than I would expect out of a beer of this intensity.

D - One of these is plenty in a session. It isn't bad by any means, but it is purely one dimensional and I could have gotten roughly the same experience out of a bourbon and water. Wish I could say there is a bit more in here, but it is pretty basic in its complexity.

Photo of twoheadedboy
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light amber color, looks rather like iced tea. Good carbonation and slight lacing.

Smell is exceptionally sweet and boozy. Dark fruits come through (raisins/plums) as well as some nuts, vanilla, and spicy tobacco. A really great aroma.

Taste is also very sweet and strong, with some caramel, toffee and mild chocolate present along with the booze/fruit. Some mild bitter hops also come through. Finished very smooth and drinkable, which caught me off guard considering the abv.

I really wasn't quite sure what to expect with this style, as I'm fairly unfamiliar with it right now, but I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. It was an extremely complex brew but also quite tasty and drinkable. I kinda want to get a sixer and cellar some of it to see what would happen. Another superb offering from Founders. What a surprise.

Photo of IronLover
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with no head and a murky weathered copper color. Very thin wispy off white lacings lay on top after the pour. Sweet caramel malt, ripe apple, spice and oak aromas. Combined with the hint of alcohol, the smell is reminiscent of a light, sweet bourbon. Medium to full bodied with a thick mouth feel as the latent carbonation slowly comes to life. Sweet caramel malt and ripe apple flavors, hints of spice, finishes with an alcoholic burn and a pine hop flavor. Definitely a sipper that warms the soul.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dropped a bottle of this into a Duvel snifter.

A: Looks like heavy apple cider.

S: thick, rich, spicy, orange and alcohol

T: Reminded me of some brews from Unibroue (Maudite, Don de Dieu) but a little heavier/more dense and without the yeastiness; fruity caramels with booze

M: medium-bodied, very drinkable; great aftertaste

O: I miss it since its gone; this is a great beer for slow drinking (preferably near the sea). One of the least barleywine-ish old ales I've had - almost has some Imperial IPA and tripel qualities.

Think deeply of the ocean and keep a four-pack in a cooler as the waves lap the shores at night. Be one with the seas and stars.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a muddy slightly orange color with an almost nonexistent light brown head, it pours very thick as well. Nose is malty and sweet, a bit hoppy and almost a bit bready.

Taste is very wheaty oddly enough, it's a bit bitter and also quite malty. Theres some light caramel, and certainly a decent amount of alcohol. Overall quite decent.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark shade of orange very murky, does not give off a good look at first.

S- The smell is somewhat spicy, kind of like a pumpkin ale but a little less kick

T- Very strong malt taste, I enjoyed it a bit, I have 2 aging in the fridge as we speak.(Since Dec 09')

M- Kind of thick, but a good filling feel to this beer.

D- This is definitely a slow sipping beer, not to be abused. A buddy of mine aged his for about 2 years and it tasted a lot different than my batch which had just been bought at the time.

Photo of vfgccp
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden. A lot of sediment.

S - Alcohol on the front end. Riesling, hints of limeade.

T - Sweet alcohol downshifts into mild grapefruit and resiny hops. Raisins and malt in the aftertaste.

M - Boozy up front then smoothes out pretty quickly, but enough alcohol hangs around to keep your mouth warm throughout the drink.

D - The alcohol lets you know it's there, and delays you from pouring a second.

Photo of jlandis
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy copper with one finger white head that slowly fades into a thin ring. The aroma is very inviting with caramel and toffee with a hint of sweet cherries and brown sugar. The taste is much more complex than I was expecting from the aroma. There is the predominant caramel and toffee sweetness with a great cherry sweetness. In the background there is a tobacco and oak that mingles with the alcohol to make a fantastic presentation. The carbonation is light and the rich.

This is a solid beer. I remember the first time that I had it I absolutely hated it, but now with a second go around and a better understanding of what an "old ale" is I can really appreciate this one. Perfect for a cooler autumn evening.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 10/16/10*

Bottled on date: 2/4/10

After about 8 months in the cellar, decided to give this Old Ale a go. Pours a nice amber color w/ some mahogany hues, a 1/4 inch of creamy tan head and little retention. Very sweet nose, molasses, caramel, dark fruits (raisin, plum, cherry). Tastes just like it smells - sweet and malty, with hint of spiciness. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, could use a touch more carbonation though. I didn't take notes on this fresh, but less hot than i remember it being, so laying it down a bit atleast accomplished that.

Im not a huge fan of the style, but this is a solid take - A nice sipper on a cold night.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle at 48* into a snifter.

A: This pours a cloudy, ruby-red color with a very light colored, creamy head.

S: It has aromas of dark fruits, sweet caramel malts, biscuit, and some toffee.

T: It tastes of figs, dates, and other sweet fruits, raisiny bitterness, and some maply bourbon.

M: It is lighter than expected and a little sticky.

D: This is a little light for the style but it is good. It's almost like a light wheat wine.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper to brown with orange and ruby hues and only a thin off white head that is nearly nonexistent just seconds after the pour although a thin sheet of lacing does exist.

Aroma consists of sweet malt and dark sweet fruits as well as a touch of brown sugar.

The flavor is similar but much more pronounced, featuring sweet fruits, warming alcohol, and an earthy hop presence at the finish as well as a similar hint of sugar.

Medium to thick in body and carbonation with a nice warming alcohol sensation.

Perhaps not a perfect representation of the style, but quite enjoyable and very easy to drink considering the style characteristics and abv.

Photo of Overlord
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a very generous Augustiner. I owe ya'.

Pours an orange caramel color with a quarter inch off-white head.

Smells like insanely sweet caramel with a tropical, pineapple-y sugary bite. There's a hint of ... chocolate? Where's that coming from?

Taste has warming alcohol on the tongue, there's burnt toffee, caramel, some dark fruit, a hint of tropical pineapple and tangelo. This is a very sweet beer. If there was a little less alcohol, and a little less grain on the aftertaste, I'd be a huge fan.

Nice comforting thick mouthfeel.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a generous extra. Bottle from 2008.

Poured into giant Dogfish Head snifter. Hazy brown with a hint of red. Not much head, but that always happens with this glass and all the surface area.

Not a very powerful aroma here. A hint of sweet citrus, like orange candy or something like that.

The taste is surprisingly hoppy for the age and style. Nice sweet start to the beer and it hints at maltiness, but the finish is bitter citrus with a hint of tartness that adds complexity. Very enjoyable to sip on.

Average mouthfeel; not too carbonated which works well for the ABV. This is a great sipper I'd love to compare to a fresh bottle. I really liked this a lot.

Photo of Slatetank
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the stubby 12oz into a snifter. Picked this bottle up at Al's of Hampden.

A beautiful copper color w/ good clarity and visibly carbonated w/ 1/2 inch of light beige caps the ale w/ a tight bead and good amount of lace sticks. The aroma of sweet malt w/ hoppy esters and stone fruit blend with the mild pine element and slight citrus w/ a light alcohol scent. The feel is highly carbonated and pretty bitter for the style w/ moderately high level of sweetness w/ a warming of alcohol throughout.

The strong bitter note of piney hops is equalled by a strong caramel malt flavor with a candy like quality and slightly salty and acidic tinge from the high alpha hops with the flavors of alcohol and stone fruit essence. The hops have a woody character and mild acidity in the taste w/ a mild tanginess of grapefruit that is noted as it finishes. This old ale is a good beer, but I consider it slightly hop forward for the style. It is tasty and hoppy, but just misses the mark to be considered classic taste-wise. I enjoy it and the alcohol is mild which is nice, so it seem above avg all around to me.

Photo of haazer
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a 1 1/2 finger of beige head. Brown, orange, tea color. Kind of reminds me of wet cedar wood. Leaves a little bit of lace. Good carbonation.

S- Smells of maple syrup and brown sugar. Can detect the hops, balanced well with a slight fruity aroma.

T- A lot like the nose. Maple syrup, brown sugar, molassess. Again the faintest hint of hops. What stands out the most in this perhaps is the malty backbone. Really enjoyable flavors in here.

M- Medium bodied. Very smooth, and creamy. Slightly drying. The alcohol makes its presence known as the brew becomes incredibly warming.

D- Great tasting brew. My first Old Ale, and glad to have it that way. I knocked down this score somewhat because the alc as I noted is VERY warming, and could see how more than one of this could get you in trouble. But I can't wait to try more in this style. I would almost classify this brew as a sipper, but the taste and the mouthfeel says otherwise.

Photo of Bay01
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from 12oz bottle

A - Pours a cloudy orange/ amber with tinges of ruby in the light, two finger head with some sticky lacing

S - Smell is fruit, butter, molasses, and toffee. Fruitier smell than I was expecting

T - Fruity and buttery, the alcohol isn't noticeable at first but then is evident at the finish, some tobacco aftertaste.

M - Relatively high level of carbonation for an old ale, not syrupy but slight chewiness. Body is full and smooth.

D - Surprisingly high due to the pleasant and balances fruitiness, the alcohol doesn't feature prominently so I could have a few of these.

This is unexpected in a good way for the style, could be dangerous due to the ABV

Photo of bnes09
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first old ale so I'm really not sure what to think going in. It pours a translucent orangish brown color with a creamy white head. Good head retention and some dots of lace.

Emits lots in intriguing aromas. Alcohol spice with a distinctive scotch quality. Sweet and caramely with just a touch of hops in the nose.

Flavors are even more complex. The most prominent is the hugely dynamic sweetness. I can honestly describe it as honey, caramel, brown sugar, maple and a touch of molasses each appearing at different times during the same sip. Hints of toffee and almond come to mind as well. There is a strange underlying flavor here that is very hard to pick out, it almost tastes like buttery, eggy, sugary cookie-dough, different but not necessarily bad. Mild piney and floral hops fight to be noticed. Solid alcohol spice dominates the finish and warms the throat.

Sticky on the tongue with a full-bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Fairly low carbonation, which seems to fit well.

One of the most interesting beers I have tried to date. It was bottled in 02/2010 giving it about 8 months to age. I would like to try it again both fresh and after aging at least 12 months. Enormous amount of malt flavor and aroma while hops do a nice job of keeping it interesting without dominating the senses. This one is definitely worth a try.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.
45°F

$4.00 / ea.

A: Cloudy burnt orange body topped with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace and only a ring of cover.

S: Molasses, pecans, raisins, and traces of booze. Very full aroma tending towards sweet maltiness. You can tell it will be potent before it ever hits your lips.

T: Sweet molasses and brown sugar malt profile dominates. The alcohol is well masked, but the underlying potency is obvious. The hop profile is very weak compared to the malt bill, but tends toward a resinous piney flavor. Aftertaste is brief, and does not build.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight initial bite. Viscous and coating on the tongue, but does not build over time.

D: A sipping beer to be sure. The flavor is pleasant, but the strength can not be denied. One, maybe two while you relax.

O: Solid offering, but nothing special. I've had better from both the brewery and the style.

Photo of brianjay
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the colors of molasses; dark amber with brown and orange, There is no head to speak of, just a thin splash of bubbles on top as evidence of carbonation.

Aroma is a bit sour and pungent but some hints of brown sugar and pecan pies.

Flavor is an explosion of sweet caramel and dry oatmeal. Alcohol is very present, you can feel the heat on this one. All in all, they combine to make one sweet, strong ale with sturdy malt notes.

The body is a balance of making a smooth, medium bodied mouth-feel.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this one in a surprise box from Kbeals... Very cool Kevin, I thought for sure I reviewed this one before.

Pours with a pretty thin off white head.. the brew is slightly hazy deep orange/amber.

Nose is rich maltiness that shows deep toast and pretty heavy caramel... fair amount of boozy raisiny fruit.

Flavor is vanilla toffee atop toasty biscuits... golden raisins.. a bit peppery ... good medium body given the ABV... carbonation is nice and lite.

Thanks again Kevin... Thanks again Kevin.

3.5/4/4/4.5/4

Photo of mjaskula
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark copper with a bunch of suspended sediment. The thin off white head faded fast and only leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet with some floral hops and a bit of smokiness. Flavor is smooth and complex, sweet and malty with some nuttiness. Hop flavor is mild, floral and piney. Malt flavor has carmel and toffee. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit viscous, but i think that's expected. Overall I really like this beer, and wouldn't mind drinking a couple of these.

Photo of Boodoggy
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip.

Hazy deep amber, cooper in color. Thin quickly disapating head with minimal lacing.

Strong and sweet. I am getting honey and sweet dark fruit, toffee perhaps some caramel in the back.

I love the taste. Sweet and malty. This really follows through with the nose. Alcohol is present hops are taking a back seat on this one.

Thicker then expected. Malty and sweet. This is a sipper to be enjoyed on a cool evening.

Overall I really liked this beer. It delivered what it claimed to be on the label.

Photo of berkey
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured and reviewed from my usual tulip glass 10/05/10.

Pours a dark reddish amber color. Doesn't form much of a head but some decent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as I rotate it.

Just a hair hoppier than typical for an old ale but the main aromas are of caramel with some slight toffee notes. Flavor adds a difficult to identify 'cookie'-like character and some slightly acrid bitterness. Pleasant enough but missing some of the richness and complexity I look for in the style.

This somehow manages to remain pretty easy drinking even though the alcohol isn't all that well hidden. A decent beer but not quite sure I can really say it's anywhere near some of the great Founders brews I've tried.

Photo of codewarrior
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from a 4-pack into a Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

picked this up in a trade with masterhomebrewer ... thank you sir.

A: Deep amber, 1 finger head, dissipates and laces beautifully.

S: Strong and sweet, lots of booze, similar to a quad in its smell, but stronger.

T: Luscious and thick, good tang of booz behind a sweet front. Fades gently.

F: THICK.

D: and Yum. seriously good, but not as good as Old Stock, or Third Coast.

Photo of cwguy5
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte, NC...

I have to admit that I did not get the best look at this serving of beer. It was dark, but it had a deep brown color and a light brown head.

The aroma was full of toffee, maple, and dark fruit.

Sweet beer with lots of dark fruit, maple, toffee, and herbal notes. Warm alcohol taste with strong, long linger. Medium bitter and malt. Individual fruit notes of coconut and banana.

Mild but firm carbonation. Fruit first, then toffee, then bitter with long linger.

A very well crafted beer. Personally a bit too sweet for me. The dark fruit flavors almost seem a little rum-like. A very big beer with large palate.

Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,804 ratings.